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Vermont— " With all thy faults I love the «n7i.»'— I 




: UNlVL-asiTY 
' Li/iRARY 



Mb. Chairman :— 

The momentous question before the committee has been 
so ably discussed, that I rise under unfeigned embarrassment, and I 
should not have asked the committee to listen to any remarks of 
mine, had I not witnessed, in the whole course of the debate, not 
only a patient, but an eager attention to every thing which has 
been said on both sides of the question. This argues well for a 
favorable result. There seems, indeed, to be something providen- 
tial in this, and I will not undertake to account for it. We are all 
sensible how much the mind is biassed by previously formed opin- 
ions, and how impatiently we hear any thing said with a view to 
change such opinions, nor can we patiently listen to a protracted 
argument, in support of an opinion which we have previously form- 
ed — ^we feel that enough — too much has already been said. 

When members of the house of representatives assemble, they 
do not even know what subjects will be presented for their decision ; 
they therefore generally enter upon the discussion of subjects with 
minds wholly unbiassed — on the other hand we had for months 
before we assemUed, the proposed amendments to the constitution 
in our possession, had examined them, and it must be supposed, 
that most of the members had, not only formed, but what is more, 
had expressed an opinion respecting them, and yet I must say that 
I never before witnessed any public assembly hear so patiently, or 
give such unremitted attention. This emboldens me to express 
my views on the subject, and to express them fully, even at the 
hazard of repeating some things which have been better said 
by others. 

Mr. Chairman, — It 'is proposed to abolish those fflticles of the 
present Constitution which establish the executive and legislative 
departments of the government and define their powers, and to 
adopt the several articles proposed as substitutes. 

The first subject of enquiry then is, what is our present constitu- 
tion, and' what has been its operation; or, Co simplify the subject of 
enquiry, with what legislative powers were the council vested by 
the constitution, and have the powers with which they were ves- 
ted, proved a sufficient check on the house of representatives, 
or have they proved insufficient ; by reason of which the house 
have encroached on the powers of the council and assumed the 
exercise of powers not granted them by the constitution? When 
that shall have been satisfactorily ascertained, we shall be prepared 
to examine the articles proposed for adoption now under consider- 

The 2d Section of the constitution is in ihese words — "Tlie 
supreme legislative power shall be vested in a bouse of represen- 
tatives of the freemen of the Commonwealth or State of Vermont." 

The 3d Section is in these words — " The supreme executive 
power shall be vested in a Governor, or, in his absence a Lieuten- 
antGovernor andiCouncil." The 9th Section grants certain speci- 
fied powers to the House of Representatives, styling them the 
General Assembly of the State of Vermont — among which is the 
power to prepare Bills and enact them into Laws. The lith Sec- 
tion grants to the Governor and Council certain executive powers. 

The 16th Section provides a check upon the House of Repre- 
sentatives by granting ceitain powers in legislation to the Governor 
and Council in tlie following words — ^^ To the end that laws, be- 
fore they are enacted, may be more maturely considered, and the 
inconvenience of hasty determinations, as much as possible preven- 
ted, all bills which originate in the Assembly^ shall be laid before 
the Governor and Council, for their revision and concurrence or 
proposals of amendment, who shall return the same to the Assem- 
bly with their proposals of amendment, if any, in writing ; and if 
the same are not agreed^ to by the Assembly, it shall be in the 
power of the Governor and ^Council, to suspend the passage of 
such bills until the next session of the legislature." 

So in the Constitution of the United States, the first section pro-^ 
vides that all legislative power, therein granted, shall be vested in a 
Congress of tlie United States, which shall consist of a Senate and 
House of Representatives. The 7th Section restricts that power,' 
by giving the President a qualified negative upon all bills which 
pass the two Houses of Congress. And is there any thing incon- 
gruous in .this? to grant supreme power in legislation to the Assem- 
bly in the one case, and afterwards in a subsequeut section, limiting 
and restricting that power, by granting certain specified powers to 
the Governor and Council; or as in the other case, in granting to 
Congress all legislative .powers, and afterwards in a subsequent sec- 
tion, restricting that power, by giving to the President a qualified 

Great stress has been laid upon the power specifically 
given to the assembly to prepare bills and enact them 
into laws, but this power was clearly given to Congress by 
the second section, above recited. And if any one make a 
distinction between all legislative power and supreme legislative 
power, it is as unfounded as ir is blasphemous. That the framers 
of the constitution, considered the Governor and Council a constit* 

iient part of the legislatui^, is manifest from the 27tli section which 
is in these words — "The Treasurer of the State shall, before the 
Governor and Council, give sufficient security to the Secretary of 
State, in behalf of the General Assembly, and each High Sheriff 
before the first Judge of the County Court |to the Treasurer of 
their respective counties, previous -to their respectively entering 
upon the execution of their offices, in such manner and in such 
sums, as shall be directed by the Ltgislature.'^ This will be more 
perfectly apparent by and by when we shall show, that the Gover- 
nor and Council were, by the Constitution, authorized to originate 
bills; but it is already too manifest to admit of any further expense 
of time on the subject, that the 16th section confers on the Gov- 
ernor and Council certain legilsative powers, as a check on the As- 
sembly ; and the only question is, what is the extent of those pow- 
ers ? This is to be ascertained by recurring to the section to find 
what is the most natural and obvious meaning of the words — and 
if the meaning be at all doubtful, we must resort to the contempo- 
rary construction given it, by the framers of the constitution. There 
is only this clause in the section which it is necessary to notice — • 
" It shall be in the power of the Governor and Council to suspend 
the passage of such bills until the next session of the legislature." 
Now b not this the most natural and obvious meaning of the clause, 
that as the passage of such bill has been suspended, it remains be- 
fore the house in the same state as any other bill which has not 
passed and become a law — and that to pass the bill at the next 
session, it mus;t^6 through all the forms pointed out by the consti- 
tution for the passage of other bills ? If not, if such bills can be 
passed by the House and become laws without being sent to the 
Governor and Council, we virtually add to the clause of the sec* 
tion above recited the following : and if suich '^bill again pass the 
Assembly it shall become a law. But this cannot be the true rea- 
ding of the section. The framers of the constitution having, from 
experience, during the first septenary, become deeply sensible of 
the evils arising from the crude and hasty decisions of the Assem- 
bly, and of the necessity of providing a check upon them in the 
passing of laws, introduced the 16th section as a remedy. Now it 
is a rule in such cases, and every man of plain common sense will 
apply it, even though he never heard of the rule — -that if the words 
of a remedial clause render the meaning doubtful, it is to be socon- 
striied as to suppress the mischief, in this case, the crude and has- 
ty decisions of the Assembly — ^and to advance the remedy that is 
to allow the Council that power which is necessary to attain the 


end which the frainersof the constitution bad in view, andT which 
they so emphatically expressed. Instead of pursuing this course, 
the As»enibiy have virtually added a clause to the section to ad- 
vatice the mischief. 

Mr. Chairman, — ^The construction which I have given to the 
likh section may to some appear so plain and satisfactory, that 
lliey will not patiently hear iny thing further on the subject ; if 
there be any such, 1 beg them to reflect that there nmy be others, 
who are not yet satisfied with the construction which has been giv* 
en. Permit roe then to take another view of the subject, which, 
it is believed, will remove all doubts from the mind of every one. 
But before I proceed farther, it seems necessary to state, that when- 
ever I speak of our present constitution, I refer to the constitution 
as amended, and adopted in the year 1786, for, in the statute book, 
it appears to have been adopted in tlie year 17d3. This may be 
explained in few words. 

The first constitution was adopted in the year 1777 and the 
Government was organized under it in 1778. By that constitution 
it was provided that all bills of a public nature, should be sent to 
the Council for amendment, and then be published for the consid- 
eration of the people, before ttiey should be enacted into laws by 
the Assembly. 

At the etid of the first septenary, in the year 1786, the constitu- 
tion was amended by inserting the 16th section, and in short, by 
placing it precisely on its present footing, as it respects the execu- 
tive and legislative departments. At the end of the second sep- 
tenary « in the y«ar 1793, a convention was again called to amend 
the constitution. The council of censors proposed amend- 
ments, making an entire new firame of government. They 
proposed to divide the legislature into two co-ordinate bran- 
ches, by constituting a Senate as is provided by the articles now 
under consideration, but the amendments were rejected by tlie 
convention except some of minor importance — ^the 17, 18, 19 and 
30th sections were added, and the 26 amended, and the constitution 
thus amended was adopted anew. This is sufficient to show that 
we are to commence with the year 1786 to ascertain what was the 
contemporaneous construction of our present constitution, as it 
respects the legislative departments. And here sir, it may be well 
to advert to the great change whk^h has taken place since that pe- 
riod in the management of our political concerns. At that time 
every freeman felt a deep interest in all elections. The indepen- 
dence of the State had not then been acknowledged, either by 

Congress, or any of the States, and New York still assserted her 
claim, not only to jurisdicttoD, but to the farms on which we lived. 
And each one knew that if bis neighbor lost his/arm, bis own must 
go with it; bence individual and public interest were identified. 
Each one felt that a perfect union of councils and efforts were in* 
dispensible to their safety. Of course there coul I be nopoiiticat 
parties, but all were united at elections in selecting the roost wise 
and talented men to fill the various officer And as rotation in of^ 
fice, one of the modem political huinbugs, bad not then been coor 
jured up, and as in their ow» private concerns, they never dismis- 
sed a man merely because he had served them, for a long time 
faithfully, but were sure to retain him, even at the expense of high- 
er wages. So they were sure to continue in ofiice, all those who 
had proved 'both capable and faithful. Add to this that our num- 
bers were then small compared with our present numbers, and the 
fact is readily accounted for, that a great number of our most able 
and influential men were, on all occasions, called into the public 
service. Numbers of the same men who framed our present con- 
stitution were members of the convention who adopted it, and 
constantly members of the Legislature for years afterwards. By 
this time those who have not had the means of knowing, are anxious 
to learn what ccmstruction these men put upon the constitution — how 
did the framers of that instrument interpret it ? Well, then, from 
the year 1786 to the year 1826, a period of forty years, no bill ever 
became a law without the concurrence of the Governor and Coun- 
cil. Whenever a suspended bill again passed the House of Rep- 
resentatives, it was again sent to the Governor and Council as other 

The correctness of this course was indeed occasionally question*- 
ed by some individual members of the House, who found in the 
constitution, supreme legislative power conferred upon them, and 
had inhaled too great a portion of it. But this never pervaded any 
considerable portion of the members until the memorable year 
1826, when, for the first time, the House of Representatives passed 
a suspended InII, and declared it to be a law without sending it to 
the Governor and Council. 

In the year 1813, there were two bills before the House which 
bad been suspended the session preceding. Mr. Edmund called 
up one of these bills and moved to pass it. The Speaker turned 
to the 16th section of the constitution, and observed to Mr. Ed- 
mund, thai his motion was not in ocdec, that the motion in order was 
to pass the bill and send it to the Governor andCouocil-^that such 



bad been tbe uniform course with such bills, and it appeared to be 
the only course warranted by the 16th section. But observed to 
Mr. Edmund that he nnight appeal to- the House and the question 
could then be be more deliberately examined. He declined doing 
so, but moved that the bill pass and be sent to the Governor and 
Council ; and I afterwards understood that Mr. Edmund was satis- 
fied with the decision of the chair. Thus we find, sir, a contem- 
poraneous construction of the 16th section of tbe constitution con- 
tinued and acquiesced in for a period of forty yearsj and that as we 
have already seen, tbe only fair construction of the section which 
the words will bear. If this had not settled the construction of 
that section, how could it ever be settled ? 

Seldom is an act of the legislature or a written constitution so 
framed that it will not admit of difierent interpretations. Now if 
there be no means by which the interpretation can be permanently 
fixed, we must ever suffer from a change of the law by every 
change of Judges — and a change in the constitution by every 
change of the public Functionaries. For evik so intolerable, a 
remedy has been provided. When the highest Judicial tribunal 
has decided what is the true interpretation of a statute, tbe con- 
struction is settled and every one knows for a certainty what the 
law is. In this way, and in this way only, can a statute contmue to 
be the same uniform law. Otherwise it must have the same effect 
as various and contradictory laws on the same subject. The effects 
are the same, nay worse, if tbe construction of a written constitu- 
tion must forever remain unsettled. 

Fortunately it is not so, but it has been settled by the highest 
authority, by the Supreme Court of the United States, that a con- 
temporaneous construction of a written constitution, continued and 
acquiesced in for a period of years, settles the construction, and the 
interpretation is no longer questionable. For obvious reasons, a 
practical construction of a written constitution, becomes niore land- 
ing jand is not so readily set aside as a Judicial interpretatbn of a 

There is always a degree of safety in following a practical con- 
struction ; it leaves things as they are, no disapporatment, nonvio- 
lation of rights follows. But by setting aside such practical con- 
struction, acts of the legislature may b^ set aside, which have 
been in- force for years. 

This accounts for the strong language made use of by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States in delivering their opinion in the 
case of Stuart w. Laird 1 Cranch, 299. This case was decided i» 


the year 1803 — 14 years after the adoption of the constitution of 
the United States. The court in delivering their opinion say — 
" another reason for the reversal of the judgment of the Circuit 
Court, is, that the Judges of the Suprenoe Court, have ho right to 
sit as circuit judges, not being appointed as such, or, in other 
words, that they ought to have distinct commissions for that purpose. 
To this objection, which is of recent date, it is sufficient toobserve, 
that a practice and acquiescence under it for a period of several 
years, commencing with the organization of the judicial system, 
affi)rds an irresistable answer, and has, indeed, fixed the construc- 
tions« It is a contemporaneous interpretation of the most forcible 
nature. This practical exposition is too strong and obstinate to be 
shaken or contradicted. Of course the question is at rest, and 
ought not now to be disturbed." 

Sir, I will waste no more time on this subject ; I have shown 
that by the most natural and literal construction of the constitu- 
tion no bill could become a law, without the concurrence of the 
Governor and Council. I have shown this to be the contempora- 
neous, and practical construction of the constitution, continued and 
acquiesced in for a period of forty years, and I have shown from 
the highest authority that this contemporaneous construction has 
settled the interpretation and rendered it unquestionable. The 
conclusion is irresistable — that ogr present constitution is defective, 
that the check upon the House of Representatives, provided by 
the I6th section, has proved wholly ineffectual. The House of 
Representatives have completely nullified the powers of the Gov- 
ernor and Council. Thus we see, sir, that nullification is not con- 
fined to the South, but has penetrated the extreme North. It will 
I presume be recollected by all, that an absolute and concurring 
majority held a conspicuous place in Mr. Calhoun's system of nul- 
lification — if indeed, system that can be termed which seems at 
war with all system — ^and notwithstanding all the light which the 
luminous mind of the author through en the subject, every one was 
puzzled with his absolute and concurring majority. Sometimes I 
thought I had fairly grasped the subject. Still it would elude my 
grasp. Sometimes it appeared to me that the author had in view 
a sort of organized anarchy — yet I could obtain no definite idea of 
such a Government. Sometimes it appeared that he had reference 
to a state of things somewhere between a city luob and a country 
mob. Still it seemed probabable that the highminded author had 
reference to something of a higher grade than that, and I presumed 
he intended a national mob, composed of sovereign states instead 


of individuals. The only remaining difficulty was, how could 
there be two majorities while, in our Legislature we are not able to 
make out even one. . 

But the difficulty at first seemed to be removed, by recurring to 
the Indians meslin, a little more than half wheat and a little more 
than half rye, yet I thought and still think that this was descending 
quite too low for an allustration of that mighty scheme, which was to 
bring the Government of the United States to a dead stand, and at 
last was satisfied that the language was oracular, and that the in- 
terpretation was designedly hid from the present generation. But 
after all it happened in this case as in a thousand others, that we 
had looked over and beyond the subject, and the moment we be- 
gan to look about us and survey our own condition, an absolute and 
concurring majority became as obvious as light. The House of 
Representatives pass a bill by a majority of that body, and it final- 
ly becomes a law without the concurrence of any other body on 
earth ; now is not this an absolate majority ? But for form sake 
they send the bill to the Governor and Council, and graciously al- 
low them a clear undisputed constitutional power to conrur with the 
House in passing the bill, but they allow them no other eficient pow- 
er whatever. Now is not here a concurring majority, and nothing 
but a concurring majority ? Here then is unfolded the great mys- 
tery of nullification. If any one say I have trifled with a grave 
subject, I deny it. I have presented the Legislature under our 
newfangled constitution, without any cover, or false colouring, na- 
kedly as it is ; and if it has become so organized, or rather disor- 
ganized, as to be in itself ridiculous^ it is no fault of mine, I have 
had no hand in the matter. 

But, Sir, the House have still fijrther encroached on^the powers 
of the Governor and Cotracil. They have denied them the pow- 
er of originating bills ; a power clearly vested in them by the con- 
stitution. Time will not permit to enlarge on this subject, nor do I 
think it necessary. 

At the time the first constitution was framed, in the year 1777, 
it was considered that when a Legislature was constituted, their 
power was unlimited. No idea was entertained, that the law ma- 
ing power, could be limited. And. all restrictions upon the Legis- 
lature, contained in the constitution, were considered merely direct- 
ory. The idea that the Judiciary, by all considered a subordinate 
department of the Government, could adjudge an act of the legis- 
lature void, as being repugnant to the constitution, never entered 
the mind of any one. So difficult was it to separate absolute sov- 


ereignty , from the law-making power, as they had ever been connec- 
ted since time began, until separated by the American constitutions. 
It is unnecessary to pursue this subject farther — enough has been 
said to evince that men enlertaining these views of the powers of 
a legislature, would not be very particular in specifying, in the 
constitution j all the powers which they intended the legislature should 
exercise. Nor would they be more particular in specifying the 
manner in which they should be exercised. Accordingly we find 
that no provision was made in the constitution for a Supreme Court. 
Nor were the legislature authorized to establish such court? Yet 
the legislature established a Supreme Court, and their power to do 
so was never questioned. Nor was any specific power vested in 
the Governor and Council to originate bills. Yet as many of the 
leading members, who framed the constitution, had been members 
of the legislature in Connecticut, and the other colonies, where 
bills originated as well in the upper, as lower Houses, as they were 
then termed, they considered it a matter of course, that bills would 
originate as well in the Council, as in the Assembly. According- 
ly we find, that at the first session of the Legislature under the 
constitution, as many bills originated in the Council, as in the As- 
sembly. And this contemporeneous construction of the constitu- 
tion, was continue^ and acquiesced in, for more than half a century. 
In the year 1784 a law was passed directing the mode of passing 
laws, which originated in Council, which was revised in 1797, and 
still continues in force, or rather unrepealed, for the Assembly have 
abrogated it by refusing to receive such bills from the Council. At 
the end of the first septenary in the year 1786, the 16tfa section of 
the present constitution was adopted, directing the mode of pas- 
sing bills originating in the Assembly but no express provision was 
made for bills orininating in the Council — that was settled by prac- 
tice, and the law then in force. And this practice the framers of 
the constitution recognize and adopt, when they say, All bills 
originating in the Assembly — (implying that they might originate 
also in the council) as clearly as though they had made express 
provisions for it in a separate section. Here then sir, is another 
striking instance'of encroachment on the powers of the Council, by 
the House of Representatives, proving that no sufficient check upon 
that House is provided in the constitution. And will any oneway 
that the fault has been in the people and not in the constitution ? 
That the people, as is too often the case, have been wanting to 
tbemselves,that they should have elected better men for their Rep- 
resentatives ? Not so, it is because they were obliged to elect 


men ftnd nothing but men, partaking of the common nature of 
man, and you must either amend the nature of man or amend 
your consthution, 

Man is so constituted, that it is neither safe for himself nor 
for the community, that he be freed from all restraint. Place 
him in so high a station, (say that of an absolute monarch) 
that he has no regard for character, no regard for public opinion, 
and ten to one, he is a bloody tyrant. On the other hand, 
reduce him so low that he has no regard for character, and he is at 
once a brute. Men of the latter class we often observe among 
the victims of intemperance. It will be said, that men of this de* 
scription have never been members of the House of Representa- 
tives — true, and we must go a step farther for an application of 
the principle to the members of that House. 

It has been observed ever since men associated and acted togeth- 
er in public assemblies,[that responsibility is lessened in proportion to 
the increase of numbers ; by responsibility I mean, regard for char- 
acter — a regard for public opinion. The want of responsibility 
which is ever witnessed in numerous Assemblies arises in part from 
the fact, that the greater the number, the greater the chance that 
the part acted by any one, will not be discovered, still more from the 
fact, that if one alone bear the blame of a transaction, he feels it to 
be a heavy burden ; if another share the blame with him, it eases 
him of a great part of it ; if that other be a person of higher stand- 
ing than himself, he is eased of more than half his burden. It fol- 
lows, that when more than two hundred are acting together in the 
House of Representatives responsibility is sodevided, that it some* 
times seems utterly lost. So much so that a regard for character, a 
fear of blame is wholly powerless, to check any passion that may be 
excited. I have witnessed many striking instances of this in the 
House of Representatives, one of which affords so striking an illus* 
tration of the principle which has been advanced, that I will take|the 
liberty to give a concise relation of it. It can be done in few words. 
At the session of the Legislature in the year 1798, when I was first 
a member of the House, a petition was preferred by a man by the 
name of Strong, stating that he had some ye^rs before purchased 
of the State the township of Salem, as a six^^mile-townsbip and . 
paid a certain price per acre for it, and that apart of said township, 
say one third, had been cut off by the prior grant of Derby and 
praying the Legislature to pay him a proportional part of the pur- 
chase money, with the interest. The petition was referred anid I 
happened to be on the committee. The following facts in support 


of the petition were clearly proved, and indeed did not appear te 
be questioned by any one. In the time of the revolutionary war, 
the State was destitute of ammunition ; and having no [money 
at command, except the Vermont paper money, which was worth 
nothing abroad, they sent Thomas Tolman, (who was a witness be- 
fore the committee) to make sale of a township of land, who sold 
to the petitioner the township of Salem, as a six-mile-township, at 
an agreed price per acre, received the purchase money, purchased 
the ammunitions and returned. That a part of the township of 
Salem was cut oflF by Derby and lost to the petitioner, was proved 
by the charters, and survey of the two townships. And tlie com- 
mittee unanimously agreed in a report that the prayer of the peti- 
tioner ought to be granted. When I returned to my quarters, 
Gen. Chamberlain, who had been many years a member of the 
Legislature, enquired whether the committee had made a report 
on Strong's petition ; I replied^ that the committee had reported in 
favor of the claim, that it was a very clear case, the committee had 
no doubt about it. He smiled and observed that the House would 
have so many doubts abont it, that they would reject the report, and 
dismiss the petition. That the petition had been presented every 
year, for ten years ; that the committee had, at every session, repor« 
ted in favour of the claim, and the House had in every instance 
rejected it. I then observed that I would get the petition and re- 
port, from the Chairman, and report the facts ; and then the House 
could not refuse to pay the man his money. I did so, and being young, 
and somewhat ardent, I had no doubt that I should be able to sus- 
tain the report. And when it was called up, I rose to make my 
maiden speech in support of it ; I calculated to be very concise, as 
it had not then become fashionable to estimate a speech by run- 
ning measure. When I took my seat, the House was in a perfect 
bustle ; many rose at once, and each seemed anxious to give the 
report the first blow. When they had exhausted themselves, I 
undercook to answer their objections and sustain the report, and did 
it very much to my own satisfaction ; but that was of little conse- 
quence, as it wholly failed of satisfying a majority of the House. 
When the question was put I looked with intense anxiety about 
the House, as hand-voting was then in vogue^ and to my utter as- 
tonishment, there was only here and there a hand cautiously raised 
about as high as the shoulder; but when the negative was called 
for, the House iairly bristled with bands raised to the highest extent 
in the most determined manner ; saying most distinctly, that we 
can guard the Treasury against the claim and we will do it. I 


then perceived that hand-voting is a far better index of the tem- 
per of the voter, than your ayes and noes. So the petition was 
dismissed, and the treasury protected. But the petitioner being 
one of those men who always rise with fresh vigor after a defeat, 
preferred his petition again the next session, and obtained the amount 
of his just claim. And it was well ascertained, that during the 
eleven years that the claim had been before the Legblature, near- 
ly half the members of the existing House had been on the com- 
mittee to whom the petition had been referred, who had to a man 
decided in favor of the claim. Those members then, who with 
a great number of others in the House, voted against the claim, 
did not feel that they had given their individual opinion agamst it. 
Of course when afterwards on the committee, had not to retract 
an opinion before given, but without any difficulty, decided accor- 
ding to the justice of the case, in favor of the claim. But when 
any one as a member of the committee decided in favour of the 
claim, he felt it to be his individual opinion, and would not after- 
wards retract it, in the House. 

Now in my view, this is worth a volume of reasoning on the 
subject ; it shows to a demonstration, that responsibility is weaken- 
ed by an increase of numbers, and that when so divided as in our 
numerous House of Representatives, it seems utterly lost. 

There is still another view which may be taken of this subject, 
showing the danger of committing legislative powers, to the most 
numerous branch of the Legislature, without an efficient check 
upon them. Experience has shown, that the representatives of 
the people in a Legislature, with unlimited powers, form a body 
dangerous to liberty. 

They consider themselves as the people collected in a body, 
and are disposed to exercbe all that power which such a body 
would in fact possess. Besides it is the business of a legislator, 
pot to enquire what the law is to seek after a rule by which his 
conduct is to be governed, but to decide what the law shall be ; 
and he naturally imbibes a habit, and temper of mind, impatient 
of all control, or limitation of power. 

From what has before been said, it is obvious that our Legisla- 
ture would be greatly improved by reducing the number of mem- 
bers in the House of Representatives. Indeed this should be the 
first step were it practicable. For I presume every one will ad- 
mit that the number is too large, by more than one half; and were 
there nothing in the way of doing it, we should one and all, 
agree to reduce the number as low as one hundred. The first 


council of cepsors, men, who in th^ir address to the people, left' 
an imperishable monument of their enlarged, and statesman-like 
views, proposed two remedies for the fickleness and instabilitj 
of the Legislature. One was, the conferring of certain powers in 
legislation upon the Governor and Council, as provided in the 
16th section. The other was a reduction of the number of mem- 
bers in the House of Representatives to fifty, but the last provision 
was rejected. We therefore do those men great injustice, if we 
say they were unwise in considering that the provision in the 16th 
section would prove an efficient check upon the House — for prob- 
ably if the number of members in the House had been reduced \p 
fifty, agreebly to their recommendation, that House would never 
have encroached on the powers of the Council. 

But for reasons which are obvious to all, and which have been 
fully stated in the course of the debate, the town representation 
must be continued; and although grossly unequal, it cannot be 
equalized by allowing additional members to the large towns 
without having a Massachusetts House of some seven hundred 
members. What, then, shall be done ? The great inequality in 
the representation, is a violation of all just principles of represen- 
tative government. The large towns fail to be so, and there is no 
doubt that this inequality will increase, instead of being diminish- 
ed and some remedy must and will at some future day be provided. 

Living as I do in one of the small towns, I have examined 
the subject with great care, and I hope impartially. 

The whole power of legislation is now vested in the House of 
Representitives, where this inequality is found. This is an ad van- 
tage which some say the small towns ought not to give up willingly. 

But it will be found in this case as in most others, where an un- 
just advantage is obtained, either by accident or design, that by 
holding on to it, we turn it into a disadvantage. This is emphat- 
ically true, in relation to the government under which we live. 
Deny to any portion of the people equal privileges with the oth- 
ers, and you at once destroy that harmony, that perfect union of 
councils, and efforts which are so iudispensible to the healthful, and 
beneficial action of the government, and every one should reflect, 
that all the evils resulting from this, must be shared alike by all ; 
as well by those who live in the small, as in the large towns. 

It is well known, that laws are firequently passed by our legisla- 
ture, against the will of a minority of members, who represent a 
great majority of the people of the state. When complaint is 
made of this, every member from the small towns, must feel em- 


barrassed, and shrink somewhat within himself 1 and how would be 
be relieved, by being able to say, in answer to this complaint, by 
the members of the large towns, " We may have done you in- 
justice, if we have, it will all be set right in the Senate where you 
are fully represented." 

Again, when we speak of (he inequality of representation as in- 
jurious to the large towns, we go on the ground, that the large 
and small towns have different interests, which may be differ- 
ently affected by the same legislation. Now, suppose the people 
be represented in both branches of the Legislature, according to 
their numbers, might not the interest of the large towns, at some 
future day, lead to a course of legislation, injurious to the small 
towns ? It seems to me it might be so. 

But how will it be if we have a senate as proposed ? The in- 
terests of the small towns, will greatly pervail in the House, and 
those of the large towns in the Senate. Thus the interest of 
all will be protected against legislation, a protection which has here- 
tofore been considered by many, more valuable, than any which 
the government has afiorded. If this be a correct view of the 
subject, and I believe it is, it is not to be regretted, that each town 
is entitled to a representative, without regard to numbers. 

The gentlemen from the large towns may not feel satisfied with 
this. They may still insist that it is wrong in theory, to have the 
representation so unequal in either branch of the Legislature. It 
is so ; and so are many other things wrong in theory, which nev- 
ertheless work well in practice. 

Having examined those articles of the constitution by which the 
Legislature was organized, add having shown that the check upon 
the Assembly, which they provided, has proved wholly useless, as 
the Assembly have assumed upon themselves the whole power of 
legislation, and having shown also, that the constitution of a Sen- 
ate, as proposed, will not only remove all valid objections against 
the unequal representation in the House— but will provide a salu- 
tary check upon our numerous House of Representatives, it re- 
mains then only to enquire somewhat more particularly, why it is, 
that in a republican government it has ever been found necessary 
to divide the Legislature into two co-ordinate, branches, with equal 
powers in legislation. To ascertain this, let us first enquire, why 
it is, that every form of government appears imperfect when put 
in operation ? To say it is because it is the work of imperfect 
men, is rather an excuse for not answecing the question, than the 
answer which we are seeking, for it still remains to be ascertained. 


wfaetber it uM ftodi a waoif of ingenuity abd.skSlI in framIo|^ tbe 
edistittttibo— ^ir iiil biteauae'thfe joveromtoti however <k>n8titiited, 
miist M admiimtered by fraH and iioperfecf man; h it bebaose 
ibere ti a want of ingenuity akid skill, to conatniot the machine ao 
nicety piroportionedy and 8o accurately adjusted in all its parts, as 
lo perfornii with r^larity and unifohnh/, all the reqUiridd move- 
iQetutS/ 9Lffljing to it a moderale slnd utii&nrm prdpellin^ power^ 
or is it faedausd tbo dnly (iirbpeUiiig power al cdrndnt^d ik so iiregr 
ular, alid at times so vi6lent| as to tbai' the mkch'be to pieces'? 
Tbe latter is the great difficulty. 

In a representative government) ond branch 6f> the tegidatare 
must of necessity be somewhat nudi^rous, as it isn^esslury/thltc 
ml at&y the varioue interests of the people b^ represented, but 
thei^ passions and pr^dioes also. For how'caA it be tdd wfaeth*- 
er the operation of a la^ will be salutary, or otherwis^^ unless 
the passions and prejudices of tbe people, be kh6w6 abd under* 

The members of §Uob a Numerous body, will bring with tbeAti, 
when they a)si;emble'» and Will be actuated by all those passions 
and'iNrejudb^; and when nlet^ they will be still fuither. excited 
aild inflbenceid by sympathy, imitatkm abd example. We hai^ 
before seen why it is that duch bodies ai^ exposed to be governed 
by^ their pdssiobs, n^tthout restraint. H6w iiiregular then, abd )|t 
tim^M, how vjoldnt Inust be the n^ov^ofi^nts . of such an Asstoibiy, 
and jfet thb must betheodly propelling pow^r in a republican gov* 
ernm^ht. How obviously ne<^es^y then, is a ballance wh^l in 
such a machine, to moderate and equalize tbe movemehts. 

A Senate, having equal- powers with the House, and cotrip<)8ed 
of a smaller number, has, with Uniform suocess, b^en ap|died as 
the ballanee whed. It has befen applied in every State in tbe 
Union exce|>t this; Mr* Chab'man', not being well able to pro* 
deed further at thb tifrif^, i propose to conclude my rematks to^ 
jhOl!Tow,if tbe 'Committee v^illgi^bt the indulgisnee. 

[Cte Saturday aftenkdon; Mr. Cbipitian proceeded as fbllowS:] 

Hr« Chairman, I will now undertake to answer the qOdstion 
which has been* so r^peatfedly a^ed-^ Why have We not long 
since amended odr Constitution; if ic be indeed so defective ? The 
first answer whidb will occur to eVery one, is; thlt the constitutibn 
did not appear so grdssly defective, until the year 1826, when the 
House of Represenlatives, broke over all ' constitutional restraint, 
and assumied to themselves the whote power of legislation. Add 
we hate had no opportunity to aihend it, since that fact' was geti- 


erally koQWo. For the next yetr when the last Convaotkn mety 
but a small portion of the people had any koowledge of it. But 
to give a full aud sa^actory answer to this questioo, it becomes 
necessary to recur to the history of the CoDstitution. By the • 
coBStitutioD of 1777, no legislative power was vested in the Gov* 
emor and Council. All bUb welm to be sent them once, for amend- 
ment only-* At the end of the first septenary great complaints 
were made of the fickleness, and instability of the lepslature, and 
fluctuation of the laws. And as the people had not then become 
attached to the constitutkm by a blind habit, and feeling them- 
selves fully capable of self government, they entertained not a 
doubt that^they were as capable xjS improving their constitution of 
government, as they were of improving their condition m any 
other respect. And they did veiy essentially improve it. Since 
which the constitution has remained unalt^ed by the people, as it 
respects the legislative departawrt. 

At the end of the second saiptlinary in the year 1793 tbeCoun- 
dl of Censors proposed an entiro new firame of goveniment. They 
preposed to constitute a Senate in place of the Governor and 
Council,' as is proposed by the amendment now under considera- 
tion of the committee. Those emendments were rejected by the 
convenuon, not because the people had in the seven years ^prece- 
ding become attached to the constitution by habit, but because the 
amended constitirtion [wovided, that no town should be entitled to 
a representative, unless it contained forty femilies, and because 
the Senate wps apportioned to the diflSerent counties according to 
their population. .. v* 

At that eariy time, in the year 1793, a gieat portion of the 
towns north of the counties of Rutland and Windsor, contained 
less than forty fiimilies, and as we had even in those days, some 
genuine demagogues, they undertook to render themselves popular, 
by telling the people in that region, that if the proposed amend- 
ments to the constitution should be adopted they would loose their 
whole night in both branches #f tbe legislature. And so suc- 
eessful were they, that every member of the convention from that 
section of the State except two, voted agunst the amendments. 
Judge White of Georgia, whe^Jbad been one of the Council of 
Censors, and Judge Law of C<^ester only voted in ftvour oi 
them. Tet so unanimous were the .four soutbem counties in favor 
of the proposed amendments, that after a session of a week or ten 
days, there was but a small niajority of tbe convention against 
them. I happened to be a member of this convention, and I well 


recollect the grounds on which the adoption of the articles, consti- 
tuting a Senate, in place of the Council, were urged. It was said 
ibat experience had shown, that in dividing a Le^shture, each 
branch ought to be vested with equal powers; that the Senate 
should have a direct negative upon all bills which passed the House, 
instiead of the bdirect negative vested in the Council. .That there 
should be a more full representatten of the people in a body pos- 
sessing such powers in legishdon— «nd that the members should 
be so elected as to be directly responsible to the people-^that the 
Senators would be thus responsiUe to the people of their respect- 
ive counties by whom they were elected — ^that the Council being 
^y twelve in number, and bebg elected by a general ticket, nat- 
urally considered that their re-electibn would depend on the mem- 
bers of the most numerous body, the House of Representatives; 
as they would return among the people, and by their influence the. 
Council would be elected. So that in fact the Council were res- 
ponsible to the House of Representatives, and not to the people, 
and that therefi)re they had not isA would not exercise any power 
with which they might be vested, «s a chedc upon the House of 
Representatives. Who that has witnessed the proceedings of the 
Council^ from that day to this has not seen this fully verified. In 
that convention, the objections against amending the constitution 
because we have been doing well under it, and that if we once be- 
gin to aniend it, we shall amend it tSi away, were made by no one. 
It was long after tins period, in the year 1814, when the next con- 
vention wiBis called, and when we bad lived under our present con- 
stitnUoa for twenty eight yeirs, that we fost beard it said and re- 
peated^ that as we have been doing well under our present Consti- 
toUon, it is unwise* to amend it— cfiil that if we once begin to amend 
it, we shall soon amend it all away. These olgections have been 
solongandsooftenrepeated, that they are received as proverbs; 
and as they [utterly preclude all sober and rational examinatbn of 
the constitution, and of the cours^'oi legislation under it, it is real* 
ly amusing to observe what a variety of other unfounded, and in- 
eonristent objections iare conjured ep. 

Some gisntlemen admit that one'great difficulty in a* repubfican 
gbVemihent, is, that there is always too much legislation— «nd are 
as loud as any others in their coct^b&its of a constant change and 
fluctuation of our laws ; they say^ ^^ we have all along, bad too 
much legislation,'' and yet oppos^a Senate'. Non^ wiir any gen- 
tleman rise in his place, and say (hat he believes as many bills will 
pass both tbe Hbuse and Senate, il^ would pass the House akme? 


tf 80, if aU the bilb wh^ pass the House, unH ^ho pass tht 
Senate, where i$ the aristocnoy, vfaiob gtrilies other getttlemefi 
with 90 much terror ? 

It b siud by ooje gentleman, as an objection to the proposed 
amendments, thi^t we do not wkh to be shackled by too much 
regulation. So we say that too much regulation by the legislature, 
is one of the grea^t evils, which ean b^ inflieted on a people ; 
our great object is to provide a remedy, to pat afini^ end to legis- 
lative quackery, that the people m|ty have soitae repose in the 
mai^agement df thqir own concerns, ii| their oWn way.- 

When any thing is said in fitvor of 9 Senate, one gentleman 
cries out, monopoly. Now it is to be presumed thai the geplW- 
maa understands jtfae meaning of the word; we shall of course be 
Sim of his vote, when he sbaU peiceive that the Houseof Rep- 
resentatives have monopolised the whole power of legidatipn, and 
(hat we are attempting to faseak up that monopoly, "by divi^g^tbe 
]^wer between the House and the i^ate. 

Apotber gentleman says the- House bav^ a great maay cheeks 
upon them at pre^nt^— 4hat they are ohecked by tl^eir committees. 
I have already shpwn bow this is, that instead of being cbeekefl by 
their oommtttees, very usfertuaately fer tbei cause of justice, they 
et»ck their committees. 

Another gentleman says, the Senate wffl be an aristoeiaoy. 
Let us elunine this a moment. Suppose the Gouaoil of 
Censors had propo^ that the Houf e of Representsnivas^ wsfaen 
met, should elect a Council of thirty irom their own body, and that 
every bill before it shouU become a la^, sbou^l pass tlie House 
and Council. Would there b»any aristocracy in this? { can&<^t 
•peraeive any in such division of pom&t and yet, I confess, ^ir^ itis 
aot quite democratic enough to suit my taste. I lo^uU have the 
people themselves elect this Council of thirty, and then shqpld any 
one be so whimsical, as to move to erase %h^ ^^McdCouncil^ andto 
insert the word Senate, I would not object. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, how is aU this to be accounted fer I Wl|at 
has conjured up all these unfoohdecl objections a^inst ainfinding 
' the Constitution ? We speak of blind, mstinot, and with the same 
propriety we inay speak of blied haUt; for in nothing doesfaa^t 
appear so near akin to instinct, its in regard to thegpiEeinment un- 
der whic^h we live* Without tl|i8 trait iq the character, of' man, 
ke would not be fitted for any government. Without it 9^ despotic 
government could not exist-— aaid a republieffiB geveniroeDt mottU 
iodeid soon be amend|ed all away. Iniuenced by diis hahit^ wp 


vQTjF fawt constitutioo jj» tho Uoited filtlos* Tb(»}r my it fef)liogr 
ly ; it comes f«Mn ibe veiy bottom of thfi bM(t; k (toM ose s^d 
xo.faear it ; k ia tfa« language of puri f^tnsiim^ ; it iQri3«fi finyn a 
stnong aitacbfiiieot t|c^ oui uistittttiQas ; to tfae .eoosrittttioo b$ it i9, 
and baab^en, eyec aince they came upos tb^^ stage. Ao4 po qq^ 
isan endure tbe least] ob^nge or altiaratkn ja tbe objeptof bi» mmH 
§nieat aftctions ; I^ will not fdaqjit ol (be. aeiMTal eaeo pf Ibftt 
vkktk 19 ib> all otbers a deforauty-sHapd waqaa jU say . irilb more 
Ifutb than poeti^) Vennont . . 

/ ««WithaHih}&fikalt«llfare(tol4iU4' 

.Ma. C/baimifn, we h^ve bad a veiy atrikiiig ioataace ^/:tbe 
Ibioe of habity in attaefatng tbe^ people to tbe old Jndioiaiy Systeaa. 
Wbej bad beep so long liabituaied to attending tj)e 0I4 Gomilgr 
Ooupta, eitber as jurors^ psyrtka, or mtnesses, or to pqoy ibe ex- 
citement -and bustle peou&iv to iboaeeourta aa<jl tbose .tiinea, that 
wbep those eo^rts were abolished they wane so dissatisfied that the 
legislature were compelled to restore them* In tbe r mean: l^me 
the babil of attending them, ha^y in Aa oowse oS. aeven pf eight 
yeais^ been greatly weakened, aad^ ^ben tbo ohjeei of Um^ af^ 
-taabmeal waii^ again feslosed to:tbeai) k badlQBl69ii|phre|f.ita.fttMii* 
tions, and ^y soon aboibbed that woMie than useteaaapfnisidaSP 
to our iud|Biaiy^ s^ystam, neves to be revived- 
. And will any one at this day. undertake tftaoeoiMil forlbe fM9Qg 
al^aebment of the people to that biiftbenaomei and I jniqr t^ d^ 
moialisng sy litem, in ^y o^r way B yVfl\ mf one d«ibl l^t» H 
<wae ^ mese Ibrop of habk, that wndered the pesfto ae arfiSf^ tP 
•a diange ? What but tbe fooae. o( bahk an strongly aUeofa^ Ibf 
people <^ ComieQiieut to tbeie oU oobBml cbait«o^ ib^ iboy 
vfete Q&mt aUe ta f^na a oonstitutioa untiltbey^ur 1A19 1 SwQ* 
ly it was not that they revered that, ohartei, beoaiiae '\t j«iie4 bjr 
the jspedal giace, cudain knowledge, and wfffm n^tioa pf/Jp^ 
most gracious Majesty«-^o^ they weiie somewhat .(e0tD(|i)i«Mii§£Wi 
At that. 

HbB peofrfe of flhede Island alilt live under tbeir oM Q9lw^ 
charter ; several atleaapts have been auderhy the istfeUigasfcpirfeQf 
tlie. oommuoity to focai a oonstitutiop, bm' the foaaiei of -babi% M 
become too strong to he. osenxMBse, The peqple bad.beefi M JifiiC 
accustomed to attend an election twiqe a yeai^ %o. vole^ an4t9i $dMk 
tbetthey couU not. give it ypi hence thB.phraserr7^Rb<ldlil9liJi4 
boacingVi^^htingabouttbeb^lo^ban^ ^us in Vam4ml%^im 
Mnifin>a&weiBd tbeaaeivaey wbesab^l^uaii^ I H^ W ii^ 


Btinctively attaehed to the goverment under which they came into 
the worid. In their oonventioa fiir fimoing a eonslitution, the same 
feelings hare been manifested, the same language made use of, 
which we have witnessed here. ** Why change the goyemment-' ? 
<' Why form a Constitution while we are doing so well" ? '' We 
have the very host government b the United States, the most 
Democratic government on earth, the people govern in eveiy 
thing ; even in the courtSi the pe(^e on the jury decide every 
thing, and the judges, having no other concern in the cafe, see that 
the parties have fcir play with the jury* '< As I was bom under the 
Uened charter of Charles second-— I wish to die under it." Now 
frill gentlemen say with what feeling they look upon the people 
4»f Rhode Island, thus festened by Mind habit to that old charter, 
a mere apology for a Constitution ? Do they not partake of both 
wonder and pity ? And can we he quite sure that intelligent men 
in theother States, are not looking upon us with kindred fediiqp, 
nuxed it may be with a fiunt hope fiom the intelligence and patri- 
otism of this Convention. 

But gentlemen who are so wry sure that we have the best Coo^ 
stitutbn in the United States, need not go so far as Rhode Island. 
Let them just cross the Connecticut river into the Granite Stale. 
A State where there are more -natural bom and thorough bred re- 
publicans, than in any other State in the Unkm, except our own 
Green Mountain Sta^. In both States alike, more than in any 
other, the body of the inhabitants consist of an bdu8trious,frogal, 
iodependant yeomanry ; jealous of their rights and {Nrepared, at all 
t^es, to defend them. Go then to the most plain senable man 
that you can find in that Stated and undertake to convince him, 
that we have the best constilutien in America, and undertake to 
convince him too that he 1ms under a deadly aristocracy, a Sen- 
ale, and a permanent Judickry; that the people are SUves, as 
they have given up to the G<>vemor and Coundl, the whde pow- 
er of appointment. On the other hand that we live under a free 
government— that we have retained all the power in our own hiuids, . 
Ooi^ Rouse of Representelmslftve the whole power of legislation, 
no Senate to sit as master over them. Instead of a Senate we 
have a Ciovemor and Council, who have no power to check 6r 
contfot the House of Represenmives and are therefore peifectly 
haimless. The House of Repreaentati vte and the twelve Counsel- 
hm make all appomtments; The judges of our Colirts, too are ap- 
pmnted annually. Thus we h^we a pure Democralab govelimiteit ; 
we haVe lived under this govertwoent for more than half a century, 

and aie more and mora eoitvioeed that it is the best goveromen cm 
«anh/* He will be otterlj aatoniriied at this^ as be has during liis 
whole life lived under a coostttution of goveninaent, differing from 
ours m every department. And havmg no doubt that the consti- 
tution of New Hampshire, is the most perfect that was ever fonn- 
ed| he will at once uoderttdcis to pxmre it to be so beyond all doubt. 
He will say in the first place, '< our House of Representatives is 
pretty numerous as well as yours, but we like it the better for that ; 
we consider that House as the gra^. inquest of the State. They, 
bring with them when they assemble all the complaints, grievances^ 
and want of, the peojde. The members therefore are full of pro- 
jects m legislation, and our laws would consequently be cbMiged 
mora or less eveiy year, but for the Senate. That being less 
numerous is a more responsible, and mora deliberative body. Tb* 
Senators being elected by dbtricts, are independent of the House, 
each being responsible to the people of his owd district. . All bills, 
therefore, which pass the Hdbse undergo a strict scrutiny id the 
Senate, and are passed, amended, er rejected, as they judge, the 
public good requires. Besides each House having equal powers, 
each is sensible that every bill which they pass- will be strietty 
scratinized in the other, they therefore, very carefolly exanuhe it 
themselves before they pass it. Hence a for less number of bills 
pass either House, than would pass were there no riitek upoa 
them. Besides, the people of each district are ambitious to elect 
as able a man as the other dbtricts^ and generally the best men are. 
sent to the Senate-^and the two Houses being rivab for the ptftUte 
fovor, al) their talents are exerted foe. the public ^ed.. And as. 
each House acts under restraint, net being able to. pass any. bill 
without the consent of the oth«r, . it subdues the temper of the 
members, and instead of that uncontrolaUe temper which 1 bavsb 
sometimes thought I discovered in your House, it produces a tenn 
per of mind, exhibited by a great ji^dge, when he observed, that it 
gave him great comfort when he had derided a ease, to reflect, 
that it might, be examined by anotlper tribunal, that if he had com- 
roitted an error it might be corrected, and so no^injustice wguM be 
done. And then we have the heel mode of appointments which 
has been devised m any of the StamSkv The people of each coun- 
ty annually elect a counsellor; these form the. Goveyoor's Ckiun- 
cil, who with the Governor, make i£ appointments. Each, that is, 
die Governor and the Council, having a negative upon^each other. 
We hear no complaint of this mod|M>C appcnntn^ent. Anciendy^ 
as I have been told, for it was before my reinembrance,* the legis* 


hiture made' all' afj)oMtme&ttv Bot it prodiMed ilr tvery seMioii of 
the legiBlilvr^^rio'inuDU iatrigif^«Ml>coi¥iiiM!kn diode ot 

nfpointMoetit vr^wBtmUm, abd'die prnwoMiNide iMioiitea^ Oiii 
jl^g&B\ tob) ItolU ttteii^ offices during. |(bod behraour; for we WlieiPe 
ktohe im^oimi0 id-e^rei^ ayfttem of gevonMieiitv tt fiur ft j^oastble/ 
16 biiifd iiidiiibf tbeir MteresV to pefffovin' tiieir offioMb dalles fiiUfa*- 
fiiU5^«^M8 iv ibe iefy beat deeofity we' cao bavb. Novv^wben'i 
jiil{ta it ptaieed cdv tbe^Mncb feikumeoAy^ iH»trsob|eoted lo r ve^ 
etodtioD, if if atodeiy pdBNUe tb donoMe tbat be- tsm bavd any otfi» 
er db}eet< in new^y^ but tbdt of e^tabtisbiiig* a' b|gh diira^tiar as d 
lenmcM, lbde{iiiicleilt^aAd'iqi%ht JMf|;b. So tbat alP chaSfls of 
iNfersiifliddnd'perfeet level before biiiipfaa^g anf eijtial' obaee^ 
lbi»ad'in{laitiil8eariiig^iaiid'docisidnj B«t' how iritifrbeir ibe 
jlidlfesaiii^eleetedflaibbdiyv as^witb ybii, «id hf the legirialMffe 
IM<? A tbati of iMueniey' sagp apnaeiBber it»f the le^slatAie^^ ie t 
ftitif &f an aotida^with an bbsoire^ indt'^Kdoal'^ltbey' coioe beftwe 
ibef coorr^.tBDd if tbe-judgesalf pei^ectl^ ujprigbl tnehi lbe)p witt 
baklsly feel a^ddtiivtbbMMicase Wfadnfi^ and irapBitibllj esmm«^ 
iiied^ mciyi be^ decided in hvck of the mflif^ntisd^ party* TW y^ 
idba <tf dmy {teniaKtji intbe diMi^^/wbidd'Slnifie' tbeni witfa^ hortor* 
But ^ia it poss^e* tbal there sfacAdd' ikot ^bd tbroogb die wUcde'OOitfBe^ 
ofthe triBly^aninseatsiUe'bffis id favbr of tbdjinfldedtiid partjT'? 
Aifd7al»Lam<told tkAt the miiSIiog! and' lowek* dasseih' in^ abeiety, 
Wh6'su0brthetnost^iMder'ydur'J«dibiar^ sjetedi, aki those wbo 
ate most! stdeMkoudy oppoted to' a pbrmalient' Jadioiavy* Liet 
thoae live^ wbMst ysoin" Cdn8tiliitid& who ttih but' gpive tas- the Con* 
aiittilicih of New HaitafyslHie ; ahdmaT^it godow^ to in;yt posterity^ 
^Mreread WKpuaiiattJd '? 

Thns^wenee Stk*, to virUalem pe6ple'^e'tum-oi»r'Mt^Kio»^ tho 
mtoA ttntai^ attBcfafnant'tb tbe goreromtot udder which- they have; 
loDgdived^verifying the truth of what is said in^tbe DechuM&o&ol 
indej[9eiiitonee«^That-i&ianhiild iare more dis^o^ to sfiffer^ while 
^riMiapeeai&nble^itbab'te ri^t tb^mselvesby aboliafaing tbeforma 
toiv)ubhF^tbc(yth&¥b been aecaalbmed. With us-itis-pofOVed toth«r 
Mtdrl And' to'the^questioo-^ Wfay^has not our Gooslitutioil bete 
ttMbde^^ ifutha^dl^leligtbeen^sodefiseiive, it furnishes asalis^ 
fotory ans#en' 

Mr'Cfiainnni^ibeiblgigirateMss I-^do fee the attentieti which* 
dietooaditii^e hinre gpvren to* m.y ratawlu^i I oantiDt seufnreasobabljf. 
taat'tbeilr^patience as to proeeei fiiitbersp but^mtistttxmie to a eksei^ 
I^ in^he^pinleeof' aay^ I hav^ diacovtsrdd loo great a degree nf 
e9m!iBiti^$s,l<m\^'TetpsBtibe^ Aat'wbilea joitth I 

witiiMed the origin tnd progress of the govarnmeat. 1 loclced 
OD with intense interest during the long and doubtful struggle fcMr 
independence. In early life I became a humble actor in the con- 
cerns of the government. I was many years a member of the 
Assembly, where I witnessed an overbearing spiriti impatient of 
all restraint— yearly increasing with an increasing rage lor lagishlion* 
A constant change]of the lawd was the consequence. All the evib 
of which I might never have known, had I not during the whole 
period attended the courts, where and where only can the whole 
extent of those evils be seen and felt. And being fiilly satisfied 
that all this arose from a defect in the constitution^ I looked with 
increasing anxiety for the time when it should be amended. But 
observing that the body of the people, not aware that the evils ari- 
sing from too much legislation, of which they all along complained, 
arose from a defect in the constitution, were becoming more blind- 
ly attatched to it, and more and more averse to any alteradon of 
it — I despaired of living to see the day when the Constitution 
would be amended. 

But for several years past I have been encouraged. I have seen 
this blind attachment to a roost defective Constitution, gradually 
giving way before increased intelligence and the light of experi-' 
ence. I observed that in the convention of 1822, only 17 voted 
for a Senate. That in the convention of 1827, the number Wtf, 
more than doubled, 40 voting for a Senate. 

And will any gentlemen say that we have not more than doub- 
le that number in this convention in favor of a Senate ? You per- 
ceive then the progress of pubUc sentiment. This shows that the 
amendments under consideration will be adopted — if not now they 
must be at the end of this septenary. Why then not adopt them 
now. Why may I not be permitted to see it done ?